web analytics
July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Ten: Rabbi Kook

Tevye book cover

Good to his word, Aharon succeeded in securing the red immigration cards that the Jews needed to become foreign residents of Turkish Palestine. Theoretically, the permits allowed them to live and work in the country without fear of expulsion, but the permits could be revoked at the whim of a nasty official. When their one day of welcome at Rishon LeZion expired, the pioneers once again gathered their belong- ings and set off like gypsies on the road to Jaffa. Like a make-believe emperor, Dupont stood in his carriage at the entrance to the colony, making sure that all of the newcomers vacated his vassal state. The religious Jews headed for Zichron Yaakov to arrange for absorption in one of the “frum” religious JCA settlements, while the Zionists went off to find work in secular kibbutzim.

Tevye and his family set off for the historic reunion with Hodel. Ruchel and Nachman had been granted a two day vacation before they had to report back to Rishon, so they were traveling with Tevye to Jaffa. They had rented a Company wagon, and everyone crowded inside.

The morning after the wedding, it was impossible to tell what shone more brightly, Nachman’s face or the sparkling sun of the Holy Land. As the Rabbis of the Talmud had said, “When a man finds a wife, he finds a blessing.” Yesterday, Nachman was a youth. Today, he was a man. Ruchel too was all smiles. Now that she was married, she had to cover her hair with a kerchief, which gave her a special “grown up” status. All the morning, she kept her head lowered to hide her continuous blush.

Tevye sat between the bride and groom, at the helm of the wagon. He was in a jubilant mood. Not only had his Ruchela married a scholar, a real Talmid Chacham, but he himself had undergone a miraculous transformation. It seemed liked a dream, but here he was, holding a pair of reins in his hands, driving a horse and wagon, not in Czarist Russia, but in God’s chosen land! And who could tell what other wonders were in store? According to the great Bible commentator, Rashi, God’s promise to Abraham included not only the Land of Israel, but children, affluence, and fame. Though an aging widower like Tevye could not expect any more children, he certainly was not loathe to the prospect of receiving a modest fortune and world renown. Nonetheless, he was happy with what he had. With hardly a ruble in his pocket, Tevye felt like a very rich man.

So high were Tevye’s spirits, he didn’t seem to notice the desolation around him. All of the landscape was scorched. There were more rocks on the road than on the bordering hillsides. A shade tree could barely be found. The scant vegetation which managed to grow in the wasteland was shrouded in dust, like old furniture stored in an attic. Besides an occasional bedouin, not a human being could be seen along the entire stretch of their journey.

Nachman also felt joyously happy. With an unrestrained enthusiasm, he didn’t stop talking. He didn’t speak about his new wife. Nor did he chatter about his wedding. Nor about being in Israel. He spoke on and on about Rabbi Kook. With a look of mystical rapture, he confessed that meeting Rabbi Kook was the dream of his life. Any other woman besides Ruchel might have been jealous, but she was happy that his dream was about to come true. Tevye was more anxious to get on to the reunion with Hodel, but Nachman would not be dissuaded. Nachman insisted that they meet Rabbi Kook. First, he wanted to receive the exalted Rabbi’s blessing. Second, he wanted to hear everything he could from the respected sage. To understand the great spiritual adventure they were living, Nachman insisted, they had to meet the mentor of their generation, the rabbi of rabbis, HaRav Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook.

Tevye was skeptical. He had met lots of rabbis in his lifetime, and though he respected them all, he didn’t see a big difference between one Torah scholar and the next.

“What great spiritual adventure?” Bat Sheva asked.

“The redemption of our people,” Nachman answered.

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Ten: Rabbi Kook”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Future guard? Arab child with Hamas headband aims toy rifle on the Temple Mount after prayers in the Al Aqsa mosque.
CNN Promotes Old City on Verge of Extinction Due to ‘Political Tension’
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

Orlando was once a place where people came only to visit and vacation. Now it is home to a burgeoning Torah community, a place Jewish families can be proud to call home.

South-Florida-logo

The smuggler’s life has been changed forever. He is faced with a major criminal charge. He will probably be sent to prison.

South-Florida-logo

“Thanks to a local philanthropist who shares our core mission, we now are able to connect more Jewish teens to Israel than ever before,” said Todd Cohn, executive director of Southern NCSY.

In September 2013 he was appointed head rabbi of the IDF Central Command and is currently in charge of special projects for the IDF chief rabbinate.

Last month we outlined how a few years after Judah Touro’s death a public movement was inaugurated by the citizens of New Orleans to erect a monument to his memory, and that opposition to this tribute came from a number of rabbis throughout the country who claimed that Judaism forbade the erection of any graven […]

Marceau suggested a dark reason for his wordless art: “The people who came back from the [concentration] camps were never able to talk about it…. My name is Mangel. I am Jewish. Perhaps that, unconsciously, contributed towards my choice of silence.”

Anna Henriques, who hopes to one day head back to Jamaica, says, “Rabbi Raskin must be willing to respect what exists in Jamaica. The way to the future is to gently bring in the traditions of the past and at the same time embrace the idiosyncrasies of the Jamaican people.”

The Silver Platter has it all: gorgeous photography, oodles of useful tips and, more importantly, incredible recipes that you will find yourself making again and again.

It may be that seeking to connect with the past is rooted in the impermanence and impersonality of modern life.

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

We tend to justify and idealize this division with pride attributing these tendencies as demonstrating a higher level of kedushah.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Tzvi Fishman at Cemetery of Mount of Olives

Going to Mt of Olives cemetery was like visiting Jurassic Park in a jeep with dinosaurs rampaging

The "Rightist" author and artist, Tzvi Fishman

To boost aliya, Israel will encourage Marshall’s, Costco, K Mart & Entenmann’s Bakeries to open here

Of course there’s air in America, but it isn’t the holy air of Eretz Yisrael.

The warnings came true: Among the 1000 released terrorists, many returned to terror activity

Torah is to be lived. Rabbi Moshe Levinger was a completely living Torah, the Torah of Eretz Yisrael

Without Israel, the Jewish People are scattered nomads lacking Torah’s true national grandeur&power

If other pleasures exceed the joy we feel for Jerusalem, then something is wrong with our Judaism.

There will be peace when we listen to G-d and do want he tells us to do – all for our very own good.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/the-book-shelf/tevye-in-the-promised-land-books/tevye-in-the-promised-land-chapter-ten-rabbi-kook/2012/08/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: